Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks at Brooklyn Museum
Brooklyn Museum presents the Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks which includes numerous of his notebooks which are rarely seen before, and paintings that are related to the notebooks. I was very excited to see Basquiat's work in New York because it was hard to find his works when I was in Korea and even when I traveled in Europe. I might had some high expectations for this show since Basquiat was born in Brooklyn and the show held at the Brooklyn Museum. However, the show is quite small, mostly concentrated on the documents but not the paintings. I understand that the show is supposed to present unseen documents but I think it might be better to have more of the painting or other works that the audience could understand his major art works.
Most of his notes are poetry fragments, wordplays, sketches and personal observations ranging from those about street life and pop culture. Those works gave me a good chance to know what he was interested in every day life and how he worked spontaneously. Some pages contain his signature motif like skulls and crowns which can also be found in his larger paintings and drawings. However, the gallery space is not large enough to show 160 pages from the notebooks. They use only two galleries which feels quite small. Also I felt that the display which lined up the documents in a one row without enough gap between each pages distracts my interest and it was hard to concentrate, appreciate and read the notes. I think they did not managed the space properly because there is one more space, they used it as an art shop which they also have another one which is even bigger than it on the ground floor.
The concept of the exhibition was good, but the contents that they presented were not strong enough to attract, despite how many lives visited for the name Basquiat.